Graduate Studies

  • AGE 2022 September 10th, 2022 9AM - 3 PM via ZOOM

Advancement to Graduate Education (AGE) Conference

Event Details
Date: September 10, 2022
Time: 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Location: via Zoom

Thinking about pursing a Master's or Doctoral Degree?

 The AGE conference is an all-day FREE event where CSUN students learn about graduate school—both master’s and doctoral degrees. The conference will begin with our distinguished keynote speaker, followed by a variety of workshops to assist students with preparing for graduate school.

 Are you EXPLORING whether graduate school is right for you?  Interested in learning about various kinds of degrees, how long they take, and what kinds of careers they lead to? RSVP for the EXPLORING track of workshops.

 Are you PREPARING for graduate school?  Looking to build skills you'll need to be admitted to and succeed in a graduate program? RSVP for the PREPARING track of workshops.

 Are you APPLYING to graduate school this year?  Wanting to learn about statements of purpose, GRE, and other application components? RSVP for the APPLYING track of workshops.

If you would like to view the featured workshops, please click on the accordion below. 

Welcome Letter

Dear AGE Participants:

We are thrilled to have you join us today. We hope that you can explore ideas and learn about graduate education. You will have several opportunities to acquire information about graduate school from many of our incredible faculty members, staff, and alumni. Whether you are exploring the possibility of graduate school or are currently applying, we encourage you to take full advantage of all the workshops offered.

We recommend that you visit our office, attend workshops throughout the year and take advantage of all the opportunities that CSUN has to offer. We wish you personal success and professional fulfillment in your future graduate educational endeavors.

Sincerely,

Dr. Amy Levin
Assistant Vice President of Graduate Studies

Program Schedule

If you would like to receive the meeting link for the conference, please send an email to wendy.brown@csun.edu.

9:00 AM   Welcome Remarks Presenter: Dr. Amy Levin, Asst. Vice President of Graduate Studies

9:05 AM Keynote Address Presenter: Dr. Yolanda Vasquez-Salgado, California State University, Northridge

9:55 AM BREAK

10:00 AM (WORKSHOPS BY TRACKS)

  • EXPLORING TRACK                             
    Workshop Title: Grad School 101
    Select one of the following below based on your college
    Colleges: Health and Human Development, Arts, Media, and Communication & the University Library
    Presenters: Monica Padilla and Alex Blake, GRAD Center Peer Mentors
    Colleges: Education, Business and Economics & Humanities
    Presenters: Anxo Vazquez-Lozada and Jaymee Ortiz, GRAD Center Peer Mentors
    Colleges: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Science and Mathematics & Engineering and Computer Sciences
    Presenters: Indira Martinez-Dubon and DeVere Vidamuerte, GRAD Center Peer Mentors

  • PREPARING TRACK                                                
    Workshop Title: Panel: Grad Students Reflect Back
    Presenters: Jose Torres, Assistant Professor at Cal Lutheran & Graduate of UC Irvine, Jean Pauline Serrano, PhD student at UCSB & Virginia Gomez, PhD Student at Indiana University Bloomington

  • APPLYING TRACK                                 
    Workshop Title: Applying to Graduate School: Choosing Schools, Creating a Strategy, and Identifying your Brand
    Presenter: Professor Heidi Schumacher, GRAD Center


11:00 AM (WORKSHOPS BY TRACKS)

  • EXPLORING TRACK                             
    Workshop Title: Panel: Life as a Graduate Student
    Jose Torres, Assistant Professor at Cal Lutheran & Graduate of UC Irvine, Jean Pauline Serrano, PhD student at UCSB & Virginia Gomez, PhD Student at Indiana University Bloomington

  • PREPARING TRACK                              
    Workshop Title: Building your Resume: Gaining Relevant Experiences While at CSUN
    Presenters: Professor Heidi Schumacher, GRAD Center, Maya Bornstein, PhD student at UC Irvine and Monica Calderon, PhD student at Palo Alto University

  • APPLYING TRACK (select one of the workshops below)      
    Workshop Title: Statement of Purpose and Diversity/Personal Statement: Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business and Economics, and Health & Human Development
    Presenter: Dr. Anastasiia Timmer, Criminology and Justice Studies Department

    Workshop Title: Statement of Purpose and Diversity/Personal Statement: Science & Mathematics and Engineering & Computer Science
    Presenter: Dr. Priya Ganguli, Geological Sciences Department

    Workshop Title: Statement of Purpose and Diversity/Personal Statement: Humanities, Arts, Media & Communication, University Library, and Education
    Presenter: Dr. Jennifer C. Lee, English Department

12:00 PM Lunch Break

12:30 PM (WORKSHOPS BY TRACKS)

  • EXPLORING TRACK            
    Workshop Title: Building your Network
    Presenter: Daniel Levitch, Career Center

  • PREPARING TRACK                             
    Workshop Title: Leveling Up: Building Graduate-Level Writing Skills
    Presenter: Eric Barnhart, Learning Resource Center

  • APPLYING TRACK              
    Workshop Title: Application Components: Letters of Rec, Transcripts, Resume, GRE, Writing Sample, Interviews
    Presenter: Dr. Stefanie Drew, Psychology Department 

1:30 PM (WORKSHOPS BY TRACKS)

  • EXPLORING TRACK            
    Workshop Title: Using your time at CSUN to Prepare for Grad School
  • Presenters: GRAD Center Peer Mentors
    Select one of the following below based on your college
    Colleges: Health and Human Development, Arts, Media, and Communication & the University Library
    Presenters: Monica Padilla and Alex Blake, GRAD Center Peer Mentors
    Colleges: Education, Business and Economics & Humanities
    Presenters: Anxo Vazquez-Lozada and Jaymee Ortiz, GRAD Center Peer Mentors
    Colleges: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Science and Mathematics & Engineering and Computer Sciences
    Presenters: Indira Martinez-Dubon and DeVere Vidamuerte, GRAD Center Peer Mentors

  • PREPARING TRACK (select one of the workshops below)                                      
    Workshop Title: Research and Conference Presentations
    Presenter: Dr. Scott Plunkett, Psychology Department

    Workshop Title: Finding Relevant Internships and Work Experience
    Presenter: Daniel Levitch, Career Center

  • APPLYING TRACK (select one of the workshops below)                        
    Workshop Title: Financing a Graduate Education
    Presenter: Sonya Adlersberg, Financial Aid Department

    Workshop Title: Panel: Grad Health and Wellbeing During the Application Process and Beyond
    Presenter: Dr. Casey terHorst, Biology Department
    Graduate Student Panel: Jose Torres, Assistant Professor at Cal Lutheran, Graduate of UC Irvine, Jean Pauline Serrano, PhD student at UCSB & Virginia Gomez, PhD Student at Indiana University Bloomington

2:30 PM Concluding Remarks and Resources for Additional Support

3:00 PM Optional Office Hours

  • Peer Mentoring 
  • Graduate Programs at CSUN
  • Graduate Applications 

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Yolanda Vasquez-Salgado, California State University, Northridge

About the Keynote Speaker
Yolanda Vasquez-Salgado is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, with a minor in Culture, Brain and Development, from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her program of research utilizes a variety of methodological techniques (qualitative, survey, experiment, neurobiological) to uncover factors that contribute to the health and academic development of underrepresented students during the transition to college. In particular, her work has largely focused on uncovering cultural mismatch – a mismatch between interdependent values learned at home and independent values of the university environment.

In her early career, Yolanda has coined three forms of cultural mismatch, a new field (sociocultural developmental neuroscience), devised a protocol on safely collecting, handling and storing salivary specimens during pandemic conditions and beyond, and published a total of 12 scholarly works. Most recently, she received CSUN’s High-Impact Faculty Innovation Award. Her research has been funded by sources such as the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program, the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Yolanda started her research career as a NIMH Career Opportunities in Research Scholar (2008-2010) at CSUN, an undergraduate research training program that fostered her excitement for every aspect of the scientific method as well as her passion for training and mentoring the next generation of scholars. Yolanda earned her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology from CSUN. She is a proud alumna of our university.

10:00 AM (WORKSHOPS DETAILS BY TRACKS)

EXPLORING TRACK

  • Workshop Title: Grad School 101
    Presenters: GRAD Center Peer Mentors
    Monica Padilla and Alex Blake, Anxo Vazquez-Lozada and Jaymee Ortiz, Indira Martinez-Dubon and DeVere Vidamuerte

    Workshop Description: Are you considering whether graduate school should be a part of your future?  This workshop is for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree. We will review the basics: the difference between a master's and PhD and the possible career paths for both; the timeframe for different graduate programs; how to pay for graduate school; what life is like for graduate students; and things to consider in continuing your education beyond your current degree program.

PREPARING TRACK                             

  • Workshop Title: Panel: Grad Students Reflect Back
    Presenters: Jose Torres, Assistant Professor at Cal Lutheran, Jean Pauline Serrano, PhD student at University of California, Santa Barbara & Virginia Gomez, PhD Student at Indiana University, Bloomington

    Workshop Description: In this panel, former CSUN graduate students will reflect on their time at CSUN. What do they see as the most important things they did to prepare for graduate school? What opportunities did they engage in at CSUN that were most important to where they are now? What do they wish they had done differently? They will also answer your questions about their path, and allow you to leave with a better understanding of life as a graduate student.

APPLYING TRACK

  • Workshop Title: Applying to Graduate School: Choosing Schools, Creating a Strategy, and Identifying your Brand
    Presenter: Professor Heidi Schumacher, GRAD Center

    Workshop Description: In this workshop, we will discuss your overall game plan as you apply to graduate school.  How do you select programs to apply to, and how many should be on your list?  What should your application timeline look like in order to take advantage of opportunities such as fee waivers for applications and the GRE?  How can you make all of your application materials work together as one “package” rather than a collection of separate parts?  We will also explore the concept of creating a “brand”—conveying a clear message to schools about who you are as an applicant and why they need you in their program.                                                                 

11:00 AM (WORKSHOPS DETAILS BY TRACKS)

EXPLORING TRACK                             

  • Workshop Title: Panel: Life as a Graduate Student
    Jose Torres, Assistant Professor at Cal Lutheran, Jean Pauline Serrano, PhD student at University of California, Santa Barbara & Virginia Gomez, PhD Student at Indiana University Bloomington

    Workshop Description:
    In this panel, former graduate students will talk about their experiences in graduate school. You’ll learn how they decided to go to graduate school, what their daily life is like, their transition from undergrad to graduate school, and how graduate school aligns with their career goals. They will also answer your questions about their path, and you will leave with a better understanding of life as a graduate student.

PREPARING TRACK           

  • Workshop Title: Building your Resume: Gaining Relevant Experiences While at CSUN
    Presenters: Professor Heidi Schumacher, GRAD Center, Maya Bornstein, PhD student at University of California, Irvine, Monica Calderon, PhD student at Palo Alto University

    Workshop Description: Many students who are enrolled at CSUN mention that they are unaware of the variety of support available to them on campus. In this workshop, you will be guided through CSUN resources that you can use during your preparation for graduate school. You will have time to explore areas related to your field and career path as you are shown different tools.You will also learn about writing workshops, research opportunities, service opportunities, jobs, internships, conferences, faculty mentoring, awards, honors, and more.
     

APPLYING TRACK (select one of the workshops below)  

  • Workshop Title: Statement of Purpose and Diversity/Personal Statement: Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business and Economics, and Health & Human Development
    Presenter: Dr.Anastasiia Timmer, Criminology and Justice Studies Department

    Workshop Description:The Statement of Purpose (SOP, sometimes called Personal Statement or Objectives Statement) is generally the most important component of your application, and the Personal/Diversity Statement complements that document to reflect on how your lived experience has contributed to the goals outlined in your SOP.  In this workshop, we will explore how this document (1) outlines what you intend to focus on in a graduate program, (2) how your academic and work experiences thus far have built towards this moment, and (3) how your intended school is the ideal place to pursue your graduate education.  We will discuss strategies for standing out from other applicants while also adhering to the structure and content schools expect in the document. You will leave this workshop with an understanding of content and approach so you can get started with a draft.

  • Workshop Title: Statement of Purpose and Diversity/Personal Statement: Science & Mathematics and Engineering & Computer Science
    Presenter: Dr. Priya Ganguli, Geological Science Department

    Workshop Description:The Statement of Purpose (SOP, sometimes called an Objectives Statement or some other similar title) is generally the most important component of your application, and the Personal/Diversity Statement (or some similar title) complements that document to reflect how your lived experience contributed to the goals outlined in your SOP.  In this workshop, we will explore how this document (1) outlines what you intend to focus on in a graduate program, (2) how all of your academic and work experiences thus far have built towards this moment, and (3) how your intended school(s) is/are the ideal place to pursue your graduate education. We’ve created three groups for this workshop based on similarity in expectations for the document so you’ll receive information targeted to your general field. We will also discuss strategies for standing out from the crowd while adhering to the structure and content schools expect in the document. You will leave this workshop with an understanding of the content [of an SOP and strategies for starting your own draft].

  • Workshop Title: Statement of Purpose and Diversity/Personal Statement: Humanities, Arts, Media & Communication, University Library, and Education
    Presenter: Dr.Jennifer C. Lee, English Department

    Workshop Description:The Statement of Purpose (SOP, sometimes called Personal Statement or Objectives Statement) is generally the most important component of your application, and the Personal/Diversity Statement complements that document to reflect on how your lived experience has contributed to the goals outlined in your SOP.  In this workshop, we will explore how this document (1) outlines what you intend to focus on in a graduate program, (2) how your academic and work experiences thus far have built towards this moment, and (3) how your intended school is the ideal place to pursue your graduate education.  We will discuss strategies for standing out from other applicants while also adhering to the structure and content schools expect in the document. You will leave this workshop with an understanding of content and approach so you can get started with a draft.

12:30 PM (WORKSHOPS DETAILS BY TRACKS)

EXPLORING TRACK                             

  • Workshop Title: Building your Network
    Presenter: Daniel Levitch, Career Center

    Workshop Description: Building a network is one of the most important early steps a student can take towards applying to graduate school.  In this workshop, we will demystify the process of “networking” and talk about how you can build closer relationships with faculty, fellow students with similar goals, and supervisors at internships and job sites who can help you build your resume.  You will learn ways to talk about yourself and your goals and leave with more confidence to approach the many campus resources who can support you on this path. 

PREPARING TRACK                             

  • Workshop Title: Leveling Up: Building Graduate-Level Writing Skills
    Presenter: Eric Barnhart, Learning Resource Center

    Workshop Description: Making the transition from undergraduate writing expectations to graduate writing expectations is one of the biggest challenges for many graduate students.  In fact, it is a huge challenge during the application process, when your writing skills are being closely analyzed in your application materials.  In this workshop, we will talk about the expectations for writing in graduate school, look at samples of graduate-level writing, and strategize how you can start to build those skills now by making intentional choices as you write essays for your current classes.

APPLYING TRACK              

  • Workshop Title: Application Components: Letters of Rec, Transcripts, Resume, GRE, Writing Sample, Interviews
    Presenter: Dr.Stefanie Drew, Psychology Department

    Workshop Description: In this workshop, we will explore the many components of the application package.  We will review who to ask for letters of recommendation and how to ask so that you will get an outstanding letter written about your accomplishments, requesting transcripts and reading them from the perspective of an admissions committee, formatting your CV or resume and what to include, the GRE exam, what kind of writing sample programs are looking for, and key things to know about interviews (most frequently asked questions and general tips).  While this workshop will provide an overview of all of these application components, you will also learn about the ongoing support CSUN’s Office of Graduate Studies provides, including workshops you can attend in the fall to do a deeper dive into each of these components.

1:30 PM (WORKSHOPS DETAILS BY TRACKS)

EXPLORING TRACK           

  • Workshop Title: Using your time at CSUN to Prepare for Grad School
    Presenters: GRAD Center Peer Mentors 
    Monica Padilla and Alex Blake, Anxo Vazquez-Lozada and Jaymee Ortiz, Indira Martinez-Dubon and DeVere Vidamuerte

    Workshop Description: In this workshop, we will discuss the types of coursework and activities that graduate programs typically look for, and ways you can gain these experiences during your time at CSUN.  You will be guided through some online resources that will help you look for various opportunities (jobs, internships, clubs & organizations, research, service, coursework) that specifically align with your career goals and major.  You will leave with concrete ideas of things you can do over the next year(s) to gain valuable experience that graduate programs are looking for.

PREPARING TRACK (select one of the workshops below)                                   

  • Workshop Title: Research and Conference Presentations
    Presenter: Dr. Scott Plunkett, Psychology Department

    Workshop Description: For many graduate programs an applicant’s experience with research is central to whether they are admitted. In this workshop, you will learn about the kinds of research experiences you can gain while at CSUN. You will also learn how you can gain experience with conference presentations, one of the main ways that students can share their research findings. You will hear practical tips, learn about CSUNposium and other campus opportunities to present your work, and make a game plan to engage in research.

    Workshop Title:
    Finding Relevant Internships and Work Experience
    Presenter: Daniel Levitch, Career Center

    Workshop Description: For some professional graduate programs (such as MSW, JD, MD, DPT), an applicant’s experience working in settings related to the future career path is central to whether they are admitted.  In this workshop, you will learn about the kinds of internships and work experiences graduate schools’ value. We will demonstrate tools available to CSUN students to search for such opportunities.  You will learn how to find positions most closely aligned with your career goals, internships in your future field, and community service opportunities. 

APPLYING TRACK (select one of the workshops below)                    

  • Workshop Title: Financing a Graduate Education
    Presenter: Sonya Adlersberg, Financial Aid Department

    Workshop Description: What types of funding opportunities are available for graduate education?  What other financial decisions should be considered while attending graduate school?  In this workshop, you will hear about financial aid and merit-based resources you can access to attend graduate school at CSUN or another CSU campus.  You will learn about the resources available to graduate students at the University of California campuses, including fellowships and grants.  Finally, we will explore the specific kinds of funding packages offered to PhD students across the country, including teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships, and grants.

  • Workshop Title: Panel: Grad Health and Wellbeing During the Application Process and Beyond
    Presenter: Dr. Casey terHorst, Biology Department
    Graduate Student Panel: Jose Torres, Assistant Professor at Cal Lutheran, Graduate of UC Irvine, Jean Pauline Serrano, PhD student at UCSB & Virginia Gomez, PhD Student at Indiana University Bloomington

    Workshop Description: Applying to graduate school is a stressful process, and one of the things you can best do to ensure your success is to make your wellbeing a priority. In this workshop, we will discuss approaches to stress management during the application process, and to self-care and wellbeing while you are a graduate student. We will then hear from a panel of former CSUN graduate students about how they balance graduate school with other responsibilities while making their own health a priority

Additional Resources

We at the GRAD Center are eager to support you as you continue on your path towards graduate school!  Below are some further resources that may be helpful as you continue to achieve your goals.

AGE Workshops

  • Who: All CSUN students interested in graduate school
    When: All year long
    What: Now that you’ve attended AGE, gain additional support and information at our AGE workshops, held throughout the year!  We offer monthly workshops for Exploring, Preparing, and Applying students to support you throughout your journey towards graduate education.
    https://www.csun.edu/graduate-studies/advancement-graduate-education-age-workshops

 GRAD Center Peer Mentoring Program

  • Who: New(er) CSUN students seeking guidance as they begin to explore graduate school possibilities.
    When: Workshops held throughout the year
    What: If you are a new(er) CSUN student who has questions about graduate school or who would like to explore options, Peer Mentors offer workshops throughout the year and are available to answer questions via email or in one-on-one meetings.  You can email them at gradstudiespeermentors@csun.edu or find there workshops under the exploring track at https://www.csun.edu/graduate-studies/advancement-graduate-education-age-workshops

 GRAD Center Faculty Mentoring Program

  • Who: CSUN students applying to graduate programs who want to be matched with a faculty mentor
    When: Application deadline is September 30th
    What: CSUN students will be matched with a faculty member who has agreed to meet with their mentee a certain number of times, in order to help that student select programs to apply to, review application materials, and provide support as the student applies to graduate programs.
    https://forms.gle/ox6Vgg1hFpnjVqYJA

GRE Prep

The California Pre-Doctoral Program

  • Who: CSUN students interested in pursuing a PhD who will be enrolled at CSUN next year
    When: Deadline is January 6, 2023; Applicants must attend Info Session this fall
    What: The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase the pool of potential California State University faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages.  Once selected as a Sally Casanova Scholar, students are supported by a faculty mentor as they explore and/or apply to PhD programs, and receive financial support for application fees, travel to visit doctoral programs, and other activities that prepare them to apply.
    https://www.csun.edu/graduate-studies/california-pre-doctoral-program

 CSUN Emerging Scholars

  • Who: CSUN students currently applying to PhD programs
    When: Deadline is September 30, 2022
    What: Emerging Scholars provides a community of support for students going through the doctoral application process.  Students meet as a group to work on application materials, supported by GRAD Center faculty and staff.  They are awarded money towards their application fees.
    https://forms.gle/gZcfR2o3vsy2zsqV6

 The Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program

  • Who: PhD students who want to teach in the CSU (may apply before you leave CSUN)
    When: Deadline is January 13, 2023; Applicants must attend Info Session this fall
    What: The Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program aims to prepare promising faculty to teach in the CSU, and is the largest pipeline program in the nation.  PhD students who are interested in teaching in the CSU are mentored by a faculty member, receive financial support through travel and research funds, and have access to an optional loan which is forgiven if the CDIP Fellow obtains a faculty position in the CSU.  CSUN students can apply for this program while they apply for PhD programs.
    https://www.csun.edu/graduate-studies/chancellors-doctoral-incentive-program 

2022 AGE PowerPoints

To access the PowerPoints from the conference, please click the link below.